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Spring 2023 Course Offerings: Indigenous Taiwan, Queer Cinema, Taiwan History, and more

February 3, 2023

UW-TSP will offer four courses for Spring Quarter 2023! Please consider these courses as you plan for your upcoming quarter.

Taiwan Indigenous Cultures

Instructor: Jiun-Yu Liu

JSIS 484 A / ANTH 469 C

Date and Time: TTh 3:30-5:20pm

Credits: 5

Taiwan is a society that composes of two major ethnical groups: Han Chinese and Austronesian Indigenous peoples. Although the population of Taiwanese Indigenous people is less than ten percent of the total population in Taiwan, Indigenous people have thrived on the island for thousands of years. The flourishing Taiwan Indigenous cultures have faced challenges from external colonial powers since the seventeenth century to modern days and once endangered. However, over the last two decades, the cultural revitalization movements have shown positive results. The bottom-up and top-down works of the tribes, academia, and government show the efforts of the revitalization movements, and Taiwan is now one of the centers preserving and studying Austronesian culture. In this course, we will explore various themes like peopling of Taiwan, formation of cultures, interaction between peoples, and contemporary issues and social movements of Indigenous Taiwanese.

Who are Taiwanese, becoming Taiwanese, and forming Taiwan Identity are hot academic topics in Taiwan studies in recent decades, and we will approach these topics from the Taiwan Austronesian perspective. While anthropological and archeological studies and observations will be the primary reading material for this course, students are not required to have related backgrounds. This course is designed for all the attendees to co-develop and learn from each other. After this course, you should have more understanding about Austronesian Indigenous Taiwanese, who are the essential component of Taiwan society. And you should have good ideas to discuss issues related to Taiwan and Taiwanese Indigenous from emic and etic perspectives.

Making Modern Taiwan

Instructor: James Lin

JSIS A 588 / HSTAS 590

Date and Time: F 12:30-3:20pm

Credits: 5

“Making Modern Taiwan” introduces graduate students to key themes that have defined Taiwanese history, politics, society, and culture. How has Taiwan been shaped by empire, capital, ideas, and movements of people? How have these forces resulted in contested issues today such as identity, democratization, and development? How has Taiwan imagined the world and its own place within it?

Each week explores a different topic through assigned academic books, encompassing migration, colonialism, ethnicity/race, urban spaces, the Cold War, political economy, indigenous peoples, memory, labor, and gender. Readings and discussions will emphasize understanding Taiwan both as a case study for broader social science and humanities theories, as well as a site of unique social and political phenomena.

From Korea to Taiwan: Queer Asian Cinema

Instructor: Ungsan Kim

ASIAN 498 C / CMS 497 A

Date and Time: TTh 12:30-2:20pm

Credits: 5

How do we define queer cinema? How does this term depart from more conventional and intuitive ways of naming the cinematic modality, such as LGBT cinema or women’s cinema? And to what extent does the national, cultural, and historical specificity affect our understanding of queer cinema? And most importantly, how can we decolonize the studies of queer cinema that uncritically and unfairly situates the Euro-American traditions as the center or archtypes of modern queer cinema in the world? Throughout the term, we will grapple with these questions by viewing, analyzing, and critically engaging with queer Asian cinema.

We will approach queer Asian cinema with two different angles: The representation and politics of queers on screen and what can be termed queer cinematic aesthetics. From queer films in the 1960s and 1970s to the most recent queer films, we will rigorously view and dissect each representative work of queer Asian cinema beyond cultural and national borders. We will mainly focus on the films that demonstrate both aesthetic and political dimensions of queer cinema, though we will also discuss a few more popular films, including those labeled as boys love films. Through these inter-Asian and transnational approaches, students will have opportunities to understand queer Asian cinema as a political and transnational mode of film production. In addition to surveying the proposed topics, students will also be introduced to several groundbreaking works of queer theory, which will help us to better understand the cinematic representation of queer subjects.

History of Modern Taiwan

Instructor: James Lin

JSIS A 235 / HISTAS 235

Date and Time: MW 1:30-3:20pm

Credits: 5

Using a variety of methods and topics, this course contextualizes Taiwanese history within larger historical trends as well as grapple with key issues of politics, society, and culture pertinent to Taiwan.  How has Taiwan been shaped by its colonial legacy, geography, and peoples?  How have these forces resulted in key issues today such as identity, democracy, and cross-Strait relations?  How has Taiwan imagined the world and its own place within it?

The course covers Taiwanese history from approximately 1600 to the present.  Lecture, in-class discussion, and readings will address key issues such as migration, colonialism, ethnic identity, urban spaces, the Cold War, development, capitalism, science, religion, labor, and gender. Readings will include both historical primary sources and secondary, scholarly analysis and writing.